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The creation of an estate plan is not just for the elderly

It is estimated that a large majority of young people have not thought about estate planning. The creation of an estate plan is often thought of as an elderly issue or an undertaking to be tackled once a certain level of wealth or assets has been accrued. However, young adults in Michigan may need an estate plan in place many years before they may traditionally think about such ventures.

Sadly, tragedy has no age requirement. Anyone, regardless of youth and vitality, can find him or herself incapacitated and unable to make important health and financial decisions. By having a clear healthcare directive in place as a young adult, family fights or disagreements about medical treatment can be avoided.

Real estate litigation situations can vary in Michigan

Just as with virtually any legal situation, litigation related to real estate transactions or disagreements can be based on a variety of factors. Because any real estate litigation situation in Michigan can become complex, legal support may be necessary to ensure fairness and a timely resolution. Support and guidance becomes particularly important if the situation cannot be resolved through negotiation, and litigation is the only solution for all involved, especially given the value of what may be at stake.

One common area of dispute may relate to title and zoning issues. There may be claims made to a property, and a title dispute can hold up a time-sensitive real estate deal. Local zoning ordinances can be complicated, and deviating from those ordinances can be costly and also hold up progress.

Reasons Michigan families may face a will challenge

Despite the best intentions of a family member, there are many circumstances that can lead to family strife or legal disputes after a loved one has died. While every Michigan family may be vastly different, there are common reasons or mistakes that may lead a family to deal with a will challenge after a loved one has passed away. The loss of a loved one may create an emotionally charged situation, and adding legal complications to the mix may be a situation most families may want to avoid altogether by working ahead of time to avoid a will challenge.

One reason a will challenge may occur is that the expressed wishes of the loved one may not be entirely clear. This can occur even if a will is otherwise legal and documented. Specific assets may have been overlooked, or some family members may not be happy with the distribution of those assets.

Mistakes may be made in the details of an estate plan

Having an estate plan in place long before it is needed is a responsible step most people take the time to make. However, there may still be room for mistakes or mishaps even after a person has had an estate plan drafted and put into effect. By drafting a comprehensive estate plan and then ensuring the details are managed correctly, Michigan family members can ensure wishes are upheld and an estate is handled as envisioned.

One mistake that some make is simple oversight -- not signing the will. Legal documents are worth the time and energy put into drafting them, but only if those documents are finalized. Regardless of the specifics or how well-known intentions and wishes may be, the will is useless without a valid signature. Some may have specific reasons for not signing a will right away, though they should realize that is a risky move.

Understanding trust management and trust options

Creating a trust and managing a trust can be an ideal way to handle assets and funds for loved ones. However, trust management responsibilities should be taken very seriously and require an understanding of the different types of trusts that may suit different needs. Michigan families may want to explore which kind of trust is best and how management of that trust should be handled.

Most people think a trust is created to leave children, minor or adult, a certain amount of money with certain stipulations. For those who want to leave funds to the next generation and deal with children differently, a generation skipping trust is an option. Some people may want to cut out family altogether and leave funds to charity. A charitable trust can be an option for supporting a much-loved cause on your own terms.

Protect your family's inheritance in Michigan with a will

Most people may know it is important to have a will to express one's last wishes in the event of a passing. But, knowing you need a will and knowing just how important a will is to the protection of a family inheritance can be two different things. Anyone in Michigan who has assets, regardless of how meager, or those who have minor children, should be clear about how an inheritance can be protected with a comprehensive and updated last will and testament in place.

If there is no will whatsoever, the state will take over assets, and someone who does not even know you or your family will make most of the decisions that affect your family, including who gets guardianship of minor children. Dying without a legal will in place also means your surviving relatives will have to go through the probate process. The longer the probate process takes, the more likely it will be that a family dispute about assets erupts and further complicates how an inheritance is handled.

Legal support needed during real estate transactions in Michigan

For most, a real estate transaction can be the biggest financial transaction they pursue. Whether a person or family is on the buying side or selling side, real estate transactions in Michigan can benefit from the support and guidance of legal professionals. While each transaction can be vastly different, there are certain commonalities and possible obstacles a legal professional can work through to ensure a fair and successful outcome.

There is an endless amount of paperwork regardless of which side of the transaction you may be on. The massive amount of paperwork requires coordination and perhaps negotiation. A sales agreement may be negotiated and reviewed more than once to ensure rights are protected. Without legal support, there may be hidden obstacles that could compromise the entire deal, such as issues with the title of the property.

Father leaves unique inheritance stipulations for kids

Someone may work tirelessly for years or decades to create a fortune or amass a certain amount of assets. Deciding how distribute those assets or fortune to loved ones as an inheritance can be a highly personal and creative endeavor. One father recently made news in Michigan because of the unique and detailed stipulations he placed on his daughters if they want to receive their inheritance early.

The man was a millionaire worth about $37 million. He left behind two daughters and left them each an inheritance of $10 million. The girls can receive the funds at the age of 35 or follow a few guidelines and receive portions of the money earlier.

Single folks in Michigan should have an estate plan in place

It is wrong to assume that only married couples with children and a significant amount of assets should worry about creating an estate plan. Any single adult who has assets in his or her name needs to ensure an estate plan is in place, and the plan needs to reflect the individual needs and wishes of that single person. While the basics may mirror the needs of any married couple in Michigan, there are unique needs a single person needs to reflect upon when creating that estate plan.

For a married couple, one party may select his or her spouse as a durable power of attorney. This kind of power of attorney is essential so day to day affairs, such as finances and bills, can be handled without fail while someone is incapacitated or unable handle such matters. For the single person, this responsibility may need to be designated to a trusted friend who can, and is, willing to make those difficult decisions, possibly under duress.  

Michigan families can avoid mistakes in estate plan

All estate plans are highly personal, yet many people fall prey to the same common mistakes when drafting their plans. By being aware of the most common mistakes found in estate plans, Michigan families can prevent those mistakes from causing problems after loved ones have passed. These common estate plan mistakes can cause a great deal of family strife and become financially painful.

One common mistake is forgetting or ignoring existing sibling rivalry. One way to counter existing rivalry or rivalry that crops up as a result of a passing is for parents to talk about the future and ensure the estate plan is known and respected before it is ever put into motion. Another mistake to avoid is forgetting to account for life changes that should be reflected in the plan. These changes can be the result of divorce, the disinheritance of a child or accommodations that may need to be made for blended families.

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